Myths to Break Down: Moving Toward Ethical Communication & Ethical Sexuality in Contact Improvisation

Here is an article by Sarah Gottlieb that was published on Contact Improvisation Blog (

Myths to Break Down: Moving Toward Ethical Communication and Ethical Sexuality in Contact Improvisation

#1: It makes people uncomfortable to talk about boundary setting and sexuality right before dancing together.
There is an idea that talking about boundaries, sexuality, or ethical communication in opening circles is an awkward way to build the kind of relaxed, trusting environment necessary for CI dancing.
But for many people, intimate experiences such as dancing contact improvisation feel better if the facilitators have explicitly addressed ethical sexuality. For example, when as a facilitator I’ve confronted why we shouldn’t take advantage of CI’s innately intimate qualities to catalyze romantic connections, I’ve had many people—first-time jammers, beginners, and veteran dancers alike—tell me they were relieved to hear someone voice their concerns. The fact is, issues related to sexuality are for many people the source of concern and confusion about CI.
Resistance to this discussion is problematic because CI is an inherently social form, and therefore…..

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Sarah Gottlieb (Chicago/Madrid) has taught and organized CI events in the US, Europe and South America. She has been a guest teacher at WCCIJ, served as the Artistic Director of GLACIER, and is currently exploring dialogues between CI practice and queer identity, using both to approach frameworks for gender non-conformity/ re-socialization and consent-based communication.

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